12 Useful Websites for IT Security

From Microsoft and Cisco to the National Institute of Standards and Technology, we look at some of the most useful IT security websites.

Whether it's dealing with Cisco, Microsoft and VMware-based networks or with open source tools, or perhaps just learning more about IT security, these websites all offer information you may need.

SourceForge has a section for open source security tools that seems almost endless.

If your organization has widely deployed VMware's virtualization platform, it's important to understand and keep up with security issues. In terms of VMware's own information, check out the VMware Security and Compliance Blog and the VMware Security Advisories, Certifications and Guides

Trying to get a grasp of security in the cloud can feel like chasing one, but look into the resources at Cloud Security Alliance, the group with a strong user focus that can help you figure out if the wind is blowing in the right direction among cloud vendors.

The federal government's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) plays a large role in setting IT security requirements that impact everything on the network, with a new emphasis on mobile and cloud-based computing, found at its Computer Security Resource Center in the Computer Security Division.

If yours is a Cisco-based network, Cisco's Design Zone for Security provides in-depth information related to application performance, branch/WAN, campus, data centers and much more.

Feel like just hanging out and talking about security related to Google Android devices? Check out Google's Android Security Group, where questions get asked online and crowdsourced.

Want to hear some of the latest thinking from Gartner security wonks? Check out the Gartner Blog Network, where you’ll find blogs from Gartner's Neil MacDonald, Avivah Litan, Dan Blum and Jay Heiser, among others.

If your organization accepts payment cards, then it has to follow the network security rules of the PCI Security Standards Council. To find out what that might mean, check out the Merchants section at the council's website.

Privacy Rights Clearinghouse is a nonprofit corporation based in San Diego whose website provides clear advice mainly for consumers with questions about workplace computer and phone monitoring, identity theft, privacy of medical records and more.

The Nmap Project of open source developers has a website listing its picks for the "125 Top Security Tools," which can be found at sectools.org.

Packet Storm is a nonprofit organization whose site offers timely updates on security issues as well as a wide range of open source security tools, such as Hydra.